Have you ever questioned whether stretching is effective or not? Turns out, a new study has found that passive stretching for just 12 weeks can improve your blood flow and heart health. This means if you include stretching in your daily life you are more likely to prevent vascular diseases.
In the study, researchers from the University of Milan in Italy chose 39 healthy men and women and divided them into two groups. One group was told to do leg stretches five times a week for 12 weeks, and the other group did not stretch at all. Once the 12-week testing period was over, researchers found that those who were in the stretching group saw improvements to their vascular system. This was due to passive stretching, which is a type of stretching where an external force provides the stretch. Passive stretching was found to have increased blood flow in the arteries and decreased artery stiffness.
Vascular disease happens when abnormalities of the arteries or blood vessels occur. Problems start to happen when blood flow is restricted, or your arteries are damaged or not working well. Stretching helps to prevent this because when you are active, your arteries expand to deliver more blood to the heart muscle and muscles involved. This action is sort of like lifting weights to build muscle. You need to keep lifting in order to get stronger. Stretching regularly makes your arteries more flexible, allowing them to expand and not stay stiff. Staying stiff makes your arteries more susceptible to complications later down the road.
Stretching is a great way to help prevent vascular disease. Vascular disease is a serious condition that can be fatal. If you think you might be affected by vascular disease, seek a doctor immediately.
For more information on stretching and heart health, click here.
Article written by William Graves.